Stoichiometry /ˌstɔɪkiˈɒmɨtri/ is the calculation of relative quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions. Stoichiometry is founded on the law of conservation of mass where the total mass of the reactants equals the total mass of the products leading to the insight that the relations among quantities of reactants and products typically form a ratio of positive integers. This means that if the amounts of the separate reactants are known, then the amount of the product can be calculated. Conversely, if one reactant has a known quantity and the quantity of product can be empirically determined, then the amount of the other reactants can also be calculated.
In lay terms, the stoichiometric coefficient (or stoichiometric number in the IUPAC nomenclature) of any given component is the number of molecules that participate in the reaction as written.Related formulas
|νi||stoichiometric coefficient (dimensionless)|
|ΔNi||number of molecules of i (dimensionless)|
|Δ_ξ||progress variable or extent of reaction (dimensionless)|